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Published on Wednesday, 26 December 2012 13:35
Rescue personnel surveying the scene of an Air Bagan passenger plane crash
Air Bagan’s domestic plane flying for Yangon-Mandalay-Heho route crashed two miles away from Heho Airport at about 8.50 am on December 25, claiming two people including tour guide Nwe Lin Shein and injuring nine as it was heading to land Heho Airport.
The plane carried a total of 65 passengers. The crashed plane collided with two motorcyclists riding on Mandalay-Taunggyi road and one of them died on the spot and other one was severely injured.
The plane is Air Bagan flight schedule W9-011, its flight number is XY-AGC and its type is F-100. The plane hit Kalaw-Aung Thabyay 66KV power line tower diagonally connecting wires from east to west, a row of trees and then plunged down the blank land.
The crew immediately opened the emergency exits for the passengers and managed to pull them out of the crashed plane and two minutes later it started burning, the state-owned news agencies reported.
Seven injured including two pilots were rushed to Sao San Tun Hospital in Taunggyi for treatment and the unhurt remaining passengers were temporarily left in the airport. In the evening on the same day, they were taken to Yangon by Air Bagan and Asian Wings flights.
Most survivors were in a state of panic feeling minor injuries and Air Bagan airline officials did not allow them to go back to their homes and hotels where they are staying. Only when they were provided necessary medical treatment at Victoria Hospital, they were taken to their destinations by the officials.
"Now is the time when Myanmar is seeing more tourists than before. So, airlines need good aircraft and skilled pilots and crew. Regarding this accident, they could not release the accurate list of passengers on board for more than one hour. We need to have modern communication systems in airports," said a government official in Shan State on condition of anonymity.
The Transport Ministry yesterday announced the formation of a five-member enquiry team led by the deputy director-general Win Swe Tun of the Directorate of Civil Aviation to investigate the accident.
"We are investigating the whole accident in cooperation with the Transport Ministry. We (Air Bagan) will take responsibility for all casuality, loss and damage," said Grace, deputy director of Air Bagan.
Out of 11 passengers undergoing treatment at Sao San Tun Hopital in Taunggyi, two US citizens have been transported to Bangkok by air at a request of the US embassy.